Sound — 8
This album is a real treat to listen to. There's not been much hype surrounding it and Church Bizarre aren't a well known band, so when you happen to stumble upon it you feel like you've joined some kind of exclusive cult. This feeling is enhanced by the band's imagery and lyrical themes - dealing with Satanism and Occult topics. More on that later. Sinister Glorification can best be described as melodic black/death metal. We can see black metal, obviously, in the lyrics, imagery and vocal style. We see it also in the music which is characterised by primitive but sinister riffage and a moderately fast pace the band maintains throughout the album. The melodies laid out over the top of these riffs match them perfectly and thankfully the use of melody is tasteful (as compared to certain other melodic/symphonic BM bands). The band flirts with death metal throughout in a similar way to Grand Belial's Key - one of many aspects of Church Bizarre that are reminiscent of GBK. Another is the overall blasphemous, mocking feeling of the album, albeit Church Bizarre's tongue is less firmly planted in its cheek than GBK's.
Lyrics — 10
The lyrics here are great - as mentioned before, they deal with Satanism and Occultism. However, unlike most metal bands, the themes here are well-researched, reasonably intelligent and well thought out. They are consistent in their imagery and lyrical themes as well - as I said before, listening to Sinister Glorificatin is like joining a cult. The band draws a lot of inspiration from horror movies (the good old Satanic exploitation kind), as each song begins with a movie clip. Towards the end, the album focuses solely on The Ninth Gate, a recent Roman Polanski film. Kind of like some Razorback Records bands and gore movies (e.g., Frightmare, Blood Freak, Crypticus), Church Bizarre manage to recreate a feeling in their music similar to the feeling one gets from watching the movies they sing about. The vocals are yet another aspect that will have the listener thinking of GBK - a very strong mid-pitched rasp that fits this music perfectly. The vocals on Sinister Glorification are in the upper echelon of black metal vocals - any album, any band.
Overall Impression — 8
Sinister Glorification is Church Bizarre's debut album and a great start. They will in no time become underground heroes if they continue making music of this quality, assuming (I would predict) a similar position in the black metal world to GBK. It astounds me that even after this one album there is not a lot more buzz surrounding Church Bizarre. Very well constructed and evil sounding music comes together with sinister, Occult imagery and themes to create a unique sound and atmosphere with that indefinable feeling that many bands aim for but few acheive. Sinister Glorification is easily recommendable to anyone interested in black or death metal, even melodic death metal, or anyone interested in cult horror films with even a passing interest in metal.